Southern Illinois University
School of Law Library
PROMOTION AND TENURE OF LAW LIBRARY FACULTY:
STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
(Substantively amended through October 8, 1985; stylistic
amendments, February 10, 1994, August 26, 1997)
These rules and guidelines state the basic process for evaluating Law Library faculty within Southern Illinois University School of Law for the purpose of tenure and promotion. They do not pertain to nonreappointment decisions. All uses of “faculty,” “faculty member,” “School” and “Dean,” unless otherwise indicated, shall refer to the Southern Illinois University School of Law. A copy of this document shall be provided to each present and prospective faculty member.
B. EVALUATION FILE
There is to be established in the Dean’s Office an evaluation file for each Law Library faculty member in which shall be placed such material as complies with the rules and guidelines herein established. For the purpose of this document, “Law Library faculty member” is defined as each regular member of the school’s library staff with the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor or instructor other than the Law Library Director. Appointment as a member of the Law Library faculty ordinarily presupposes the appointee shall have a master’s degree in library science or a master’s degree in law librarianship. Initial appointees for some positions in the Law Library may be required to have legal training or a second master’s degree in an appropriate subject area.
C. GENERAL CRITERIA
Each Law Library faculty member is expected to contribute positively to the realization of the school’s mission through excellence in performance of assigned responsibilities for instructional support or direct teaching, through professional growth and service to the university and the community, and through research and publication. However, in compiling and evaluating a faculty member’s file, consideration must be given to individual assignments and capabilities. Research, professional activities, and administrative duties may be more heavily weighed in individual circumstances.
D. CONSULTATION WITH THE LAW LIBRARY DIRECTOR
The Law Library Director, at the beginning of each academic year shall consult with every Law Library faculty member to acquire information concerning their activities, to advise the individual concerning their performance and to establish the relative importance of the faculty member’s major responsibilities. In the case of Law Library faculty who have not attained the rank of tenured full professor, the Law Library Director should seek the view of the Dean and all other appropriate faculty members prior to the consultation and advise the individual of any known impediments to contract renewal, tenure or promotion.
In conjunction with the consultation, it is expected that the Law Library Director and each Law Library faculty member will fill out the annual “Faculty Statistical Report” indicating mutual agreement as to the percentage of effort the faculty member will generally devote to assigned activities. In the event of a change in circumstance, the agreed upon percentage figures are subject to joint modification.
E. FACULTY EVALUATION COMMITTEE FOR LAW LIBRARIANS
1. With respect to tenure decisions concerning law librarians which are not also promotion decisions, evaluation will be executed by a committee of all tenured law librarians. In the event there are fewer than three tenured law librarians including the Law Library Director, the Dean, in consultation with the Director, shall appoint such additional tenured law faculty as are necessary to constitute an ad hoc committee of three.
2. With respect to each promotion decision concerning a law librarian, the evaluation will be executed by a committee composed of all law librarians at or above the rank to which the promotional candidate aspires (library faculty promotion committee). Should there be less than three law librarians of appropriate rank including the Law Library Director, the Dean, in consultation with the Director, shall appoint members of the law faculty evaluation committee, or other law faculty of appropriate rank, until a committee of three is constituted.
3. With respect to the periodic evaluations of each law librarian, (other than the annual evaluative conference with the Law Library Director) according to the schedule in Part II A infra, the Law Library Director shall sit as a member of the law faculty evaluation committee.
4. The law faculty evaluation committee as constituted by the Law School promotion and tenure guidelines will function as the collegial (as opposed to departmental) review committee in law librarian tenure and promotion decisions with its recommendations going to the Dean and the Law School faculty.
II. EVALUATION PROCEDURES
A. ORIGINAL PROCEDURES
1. The collegial faculty evaluation committee, with the Law Library Director sitting as a member thereof, shall evaluate each member of the Law Library faculty pursuant to the tenure and promotion standards (see V. & VI. infra) and the following schedule:
a. Nontenured appointees in their second year of appointment or equivalent employment experience shall be evaluated toward the end of their fourth semester.
b. Nontenured appointees in their third year or beyond of Law Library assignment or equivalent employment experience shall be evaluated at the end of their third year and at such other times as is set by the collegial faculty evaluation committee after a request by the Law Library faculty member involved or the Dean or the Law Library Director.
c. Tenured Law Library faculty shall be evaluated every five years after appointment with tenure and at such other times as is set by the committee after a request by the Law Library faculty member involved, or the Dean or the Law Library Director.
2. In addition, there shall be an evaluation by an appropriately constituted committee (under I. E. supra) in the year of a decision on either tenure or promotion.
3. During the first month of each academic semester, the Law Library Director shall determine a list of the Law Library faculty to be evaluated that semester and, in concert with the appropriate committee (under I. E. supra), shall set the specific date for an evaluation meeting to take place. An early enough date shall be set so that the relevant appeals procedures within the School can be completed before vacation. The Law Library faculty member to be evaluated shall be informed in writing of said date and that all material relevant to the evaluation should be in his file one week before the meeting so that members of the appropriate committee can review the file during that week. The file will be closed one week before the meeting date.
4. The file for each Law Library faculty member being evaluated must be reviewed by each member of the appropriate committee during the week immediately preceding the evaluation discussion meeting for that Law Library faculty member. Files should be reviewed in the Dean’s or Law Library Director’s office.
5. There shall be an evaluation meeting for discussion of the file of the Law Library faculty member being evaluated. All members of the committee must attend. Since the findings and conclusions of the committee are based on the review file, the Law Library faculty member being evaluated shall have no right to be present at the discussion meeting.
6. The committee, within one week after the discussion meeting, shall issue a preliminary written report containing findings of fact and conclusions based on the material contained within the evaluation file. The committee shall prepare two copies and only two copies of the report. One copy is to go to the faculty member evaluated. One copy is to go to the evaluation file in the Dean’s office.
B. REVIEW PROCEDURES
1. The Law Library faculty member being evaluated by the committee may object to the findings and conclusions on the grounds that they are erroneous. Such objection must be made within three (3) days of the receipt by the individual of the preliminary report. Such objection must be in writing, addressed to the committee and must demand a review of findings meeting.
2. Upon being served with an objection to the preliminary report, the committee shall schedule a review of findings meeting to be held within three (3) days of the receipt of the notice of objection. The Law Library faculty member objecting to such findings shall be notified at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the date, time and place of the review meeting.
3. At the review meeting the Law Library faculty member being evaluated shall be allowed to appear personally. The faculty member shall be allowed to present information concerning relevant matters in the file and to confront witnesses who have contributed to materials in the file. The faculty member shall be allowed to submit written comments concerning the findings. The witnesses shall be allowed to respond to information presented by the faculty member, orally or in writing.
4. Whenever the Law Library faculty member being evaluated wishes to confront witnesses at a review meeting, at the time of filing objections to the preliminary written findings, the committee shall be notified of the names of all witnesses the faculty member wishes to have present at the review meeting. The committee shall give the same notice to the requested witnesses as it is required to give to the objecting Law Library faculty member under paragraph II. B. 2. above. If a witness fails to appear, it shall not vitiate the proceedings; the consequence is in the discretion of the committee.
5. Within one week after the completion of the review meeting the committee shall submit written findings. These written findings may be the same as the findings filed prior to objection and review but must include the objection and written comments submitted by the Law Library faculty member being reviewed. These findings may include additional or substantial findings based on the presentation at the review of findings meeting.
6. The findings made by the committee after the review of findings meeting shall become the final findings of the committee and shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions for distribution of preliminary findings contained in paragraph II. A. 5. above. In the event that no objection to the preliminary written findings of the committee is filed within three (3) days of receipt of that Law Library faculty member of such findings as provided in paragraph II. B. 1. above, such preliminary findings shall become the final findings of the committee.
C. DATA COLLECTION
1. By the Law Library Faculty Member
To facilitate the evaluation process and to insure that each Law Library faculty member receives credit for relevant accomplishments, each Law Library faculty member shall compile, toward the end of each academic year, a report to be submitted to the Law Library Director and the Dean and to be included in that Law Library faculty member’s evaluation file. It is recommended that the following items be covered in the annual report.
a. The Law Library faculty member’s activity in direct teaching or in support of teaching described in terms of special projects initiated or completed, nature of ongoing duties, etc. Time allocations as reported on the faculty statistical report may be particularized.
b. Committee assignments whether law school, university or other, together with a statement of time and effort devoted to the committee.
c. Publications and other products of research efforts, including title and citation and the number of pages. Since professional standing and public service are relevant, letters to the editor, newspaper columns, etc., as well as instances where the candidate’s work is cited by others, should be noted when related to one’s discipline.
d. Lectures, speeches, participation in discussion programs given anywhere except irregularly assigned courses. Titles and nature of participation should be indicated, plus time and place.
e. Offices or positions held in any organization anywhere.
f. A list of meetings attended whether local, such as League of Women Voters or city council; national, such as AALL, ABA, AALS, SLA or ALA; or regional, such as ORALL, SWALL, MAALL, CALL, or ILA, including place and purpose when attendance is related to one’s discipline.
g. Awards or grants received.
h. Administrative work, such as advisorships to student organizations, placement, etc.
i. Student advising.
j. Funded or unfunded research activity described as to time allotted, purpose of the research, auspices under which carried out, results, etc.
k. Miscellaneous. Anything in addition to the above that reflects on teaching, scholarly and creative accomplishment, professional leadership, or public service to information seekers. (If each Law Library faculty member keeps an open file during the year and notes each of these events in the file as they occur, the summary process at the end of the year will not be unduly time-consuming.)
2. From Other Sources
Data may be provided for an individual Law Library faculty member’s evaluation from the following additional sources.
a. A summary of anonymous student evaluation of a law librarian’s activity in support of teaching may be included where students would have a basis for such an evaluation.
b. Administrative officers may provide newspaper clippings.
c. The Dean may provide such items as he or she deems appropriate.
d. Any Southern Illinois University student, faculty member, or member of the administration, and any member of the bar may submit any material they desire for inclusion in the file provide that the person so submitting material does so under his or her signature.
e. The individual Law Library faculty member shall always be free to add any item to the file, including a response to any critical comment that may have come from any of the foregoing sources. Any original contributor, who has submitted comment to the evaluation file, shall receive a copy of the faculty member’s response to the comments and shall have one opportunity to reply.
3. Student Input
Student input should be secured for the file according to the systematized format in Part II. B. of the Law School operating papers: Student evaluation of Law Library faculty is required for such faculty with regular teaching assignments.
4. Outside Evaluations
Comments from qualified persons outside Southern Illinois University at Carbondale are, when possible, to be included in files of individuals recommended for tenure or promotion to associate professor. Such outside persons should be asked to comment on the quality of published scholarship, professional service, teaching or other relevant matters within their competence to judge. All dossiers of individuals recommended for promotion to full professor will contain at least two outside evaluations solicited by the Dean from scholars of recognized stature and expertise in the areas of the candidate’s academic interest.
III. TENURE DECISIONS
1. The committee of all tenured Law Library faculty shall compile and examine the evaluation file of a law librarian tenure candidate.
a. The committee shall vote on whether to recommend tenure for the candidate and shall forward the candidate’s tenure dossier and the committee’s recommendations to the Dean and the Law School faculty evaluation committee.
2. Before the dossier and the report are submitted to the Dean for consideration by the Law School evaluation committee and again before submission to the tenured Law School faculty, the candidate shall be entitled to see a copy of the report and have the option of appending a statement thereto.
a. The Law School faculty evaluation committee shall forward to all tenured faculty in the School of Law a written report including its recommendation on the granting of tenure, in substantially the same form as the university document that must be forwarded to the central administration.
3. All tenured Law School faculty members shall examine the report and shall vote on whether tenure should be granted. If such faculty desire to examine the entire file before voting, they may do so.
4. The vote shall be by ballot of those tenured faculty assembled.
5. A simple majority of the faculty present and voting shall be sufficient to recommend tenure. An abstention shall count as a “no” vote.
6. The chairman shall promptly inform the candidate and the participating faculty of the vote outcome, and, if the decision is favorable, the chairman and the Dean shall complete the necessary university document for forwarding to the central administration. If the decision is unfavorable, no further procedures are available within the School of Law.
The scheduling of tenure decisions shall conform to the university requirements set out in the Board of Trustees Statutes, Article VIII, Section 6, B-2.
IV. PROMOTION DECISIONS
a. The law librarians’ promotion committee, after compiling and examining the evaluation file on a candidate, shall forward the candidate’s dossier and the committee’s written report to the Law Library Director for endorsement and transmittal to the Dean and consideration by the Law School faculty evaluation committee. This report shall be in substantially the same form as the university document that must be forwarded to the central administration and shall contain the committee’s recommendations as to the candidate’s promotion.
b. Before the dossier and the report are submitted to the Dean for consideration by the Law School Faculty evaluation committee and again before submission to the Law School faculty, the candidate shall be entitled to see a copy of the report and the option of appending a statement thereto.
2. The law School faculty evaluation committee shall review the candidate’s dossier, the Law Library Director’s recommendation and that of the law librarians’ promotion committee. The Committee shall forward a written report containing its recommendation as to promotion (in substantially the same form as the university document that must be forwarded to the central administration) to the tenured faculty at or above the rank to which the candidate aspires. When the promotion is from instructor to assistant professor the report shall be forwarded to all faculty at or above the rank to which the candidate aspires.
3. All members of the faculty of the rank or above to which a candidate is seeking promotion shall examine the report and shall vote on whether the promotion should be granted. If such faculty desire to examine the entire file before voting, they may do so.
4. The vote shall be open ballot of those assembled and each voting faculty member shall state in writing the reason for his vote. (Alternative: The vote shall be by secret ballot of those assembled.)
5. A simple majority of the faculty present and voting shall be sufficient to recommend the promotion. An abstention shall count as a “no” vote.
6. The chairman shall promptly inform the candidate and the participating faculty of the vote outcome, and, if the decision is favorable, the chairman and the Dean shall complete the necessary university document for forwarding to the central administration.
V. TENURE STANDARDS
Each law librarian is expected to contribute positively towards realization of the Law School’s mission through 1) excellence in performance of assigned responsibilities for instructional support or direct teaching, 2) through professional growth and contributions to the university or the community, and 3) through research and publication. The nature of the record compiled as a result of a candidate’s efforts will be affected by such variables as instructional support or teaching assignments, research interests, and professional responsibilities. A decision to grant tenure is a judgment that the overall record of job performance, research and professional contributions justifies a conclusion that the candidate will continue to be a vital and productive faculty member throughout their career.
B. EXCELLENCE IN PERFORMANCE OF ASSIGNED RESPONSIBILITIES FOR INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT OR DIRECT TEACHING
1. Excellence of performance includes 1) professional and intellectual competence, 2) creativity and initiative in the performance of professional responsibilities, 3) effectiveness in applying subject knowledge and bibliographic techniques in organizing or managing collections, 4) professional skill in pursuing user needs and in stimulating faculty and student utilization of library services and resources through individual or formal instruction, 5) and a willingness to consider and accept new ideas and alternative approaches to library services.
The committee of all tenured Law Library faculty will report any evidence, documentary or otherwise, that demonstrates the degree to which the candidate has satisfied a standard of excellence with respect to the candidate’s assigned responsibilities for instructional support or direct teaching. The committee is to report on the opinions of the candidate’s effectiveness by those faculty who have a direct basis for such evaluation.
The committee may, and, upon request of a candidate must, solicit expressions of opinion from those students and graduates who have been taught by the candidate and shall consult with the candidate concerning the manner of solicitation.
2. There is no litmus test for effectiveness in instructional support or teaching. Each source of information must be evaluated with care. Such factors as the development of innovative teaching materials or teaching techniques, experimentation with law-related courses for non-lawyers, and participation in out-of-class counseling, should be taken into account. The committee is to ensure that its report develops all relevant information concerning the overall teaching effectiveness of a candidate during the entire probationary period, and most particularly, concerning the candidate’s demonstrated potential for effectiveness in the future.
3. Upon completion of an initial review of performance effectiveness, the committee shall give the candidate a written preliminary report. The candidate may object to the findings and conclusions in the report on the grounds that they are erroneous. Such objection must be made within three days of the receipt of the preliminary report. Such objections must be in writing and addressed to the committee. The candidate has the option to insist that a formal performance observation be conducted by the committee. The observation shall be over at least four hours of instructional support activity and, if the candidate has direct teaching responsibilities, over at least six of the candidate’s class periods wherein a majority of the committee shall attend the class and prepare the assigned material in advance. In writing the final report as to the candidate’s effectiveness, where there has been a formal class observation, the committee’s report shall not rely on any information from anonymous student questionnaires.
1. Quantity and Form
a. The committee of tenured law librarians is to identify and report on all research materials prepared by the candidate. By the time that a candidate is considered for tenure the faculty member is expected to have produced research products which shall include some publication from categories b (1), (2), (3), (4), (12) or (18) infra and which is sufficient to demonstrate to the faculty that the candidate has the capacity to produce high-quality work evidencing rigorous analysis, and that the candidate will continue to produce research products throughout his or her academic career. For the purpose of this standard, a writing normally is to be regarded as “published” when it is accepted by the review or journal. Research done at a previous place of employment will be considered in meeting this requirement.
b. Research product potentially includes:
(4) law review articles;
(5) official or unofficial published explanations, comments, or descriptions of statutes (e.g., reporter’s notes or comments to a uniform or model statute);
(6) briefs and memoranda of law;
(7) book reviews related to law or to the library profession;
(8) substantial textual discussion, notes, problems or supplementary materials written by a faculty member and contained within teaching materials (whether commercially published, university published or reproduced for unbound distribution);
(9) drafting of final statutory text in the capacity of primary drafter;
(10) practice manuals;
(11) bar review or continuing legal or professional education materials;
(12) articles related to law or libraries written for publication in periodicals other than law reviews circulated primarily within the legal or library professions (e.g., ABA Journal, Law Library Journal, Government Publications Review, College and Research Libraries);
(13) articles related to law or law libraries written for publication in magazines circulated to the general public;
(14) law-related or library-related speeches or testimony (texts, whether or not published);
(15) a final report accepted by a granting institution;
(16) instructional materials or modules prepared for computer-assisted instruction or other nonbook format on subjects such as law, legal bibliography or library techniques;
(17) handbooks on library use or guides to library collections;
(18) chapters contributed to published books.
c. The above listing reflects ordinary experience of the types of particular research products that will satisfy, in whole or in part, qualitative criteria. If the research product consists predominantly of items categorized under numbers (7), (12), or (13), the items shall be published in peer-reviewed journals of journals rated (4) or (5) by the committee.
d. A number of factors should influence the judgment as to whether or not a candidate’s research product, taken as a whole, is sufficient to demonstrate to the faculty that the candidate has the capacity to produce high-quality work, and that the candidate will continue to produce research product throughout his or her academic career:
(1) the extent to which a research product is demonstrably a candidate’s independent effort,
(2) the quality of a research product (see Part V. C. 2., infra),
(3) the quantity of a research product, and
(4) special difficulties inherent in the nature of the endeavor.
2. QUALITY OF RESEARCH
a. The quality, as opposed to the quantity, of a candidate’s work is the most important single factor in evaluating research product in connection with the tenure decision. The following factors are suggestive of what should be considered in judging quality:
(1) Nature of research product.
The following attributes of research product are intended to be suggestive rather than inflexible. However, it is doubtful that a faculty member would be awarded tenure on the basis of research product falling within category (a). Most creditable research product will fall within categories (b)-(f), which are not distinguishable in terms of their significance or the weight which should be attached to them:
(a) pure description--a clear explication of what a case, statute, regulation, or body of literature says. This category includes both a summary simplifying a larger quantity of material and a clarification of more complicated raw material;
(b) analytical description--in addition to what is covered by the preceding category, this category contemplates the identification of inconsistencies and the reconciliation of apparent inconsistencies;
(c) analysis--in addition to the preceding, this category includes commentary which adds insights of the author not coming directly out of the material; for example, the author might point out and explain why “nonstatutory” review in administrative law is really statutory;
(d) critical analysis--this category identifies written work in which the author develops a position through which he or she demonstrates the implications, justifications, or significance of the material under consideration;
(e) original synthesis--this category refers to the bringing together of the material under consideration in a “new way” by developing a new organizing principle or a new frame of reference;
(f) proposed solution--this category involves the presentation and defense of a solution to a problem through a proposed statute, regulation, or legal theory.
2. Execution of research product.
The indicia listed below relate to that aspect of “quality” which deals with how well a candidate accomplishes his or her task and how demanding that task was:
(a) clarity of expression,
(b) thoroughness of analysis,
(c) scope and depth of subjects covered,
(d) difficulty or complexity of the subject matter,
(e) originality of the study, and
(f) actual or likely impact of the work.
D. PROFESSIONAL GROWTH AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE UNIVERSITY, THE COMMUNITY AND THE PROFESSION
1. The committee of all tenured law librarians is to identify and report on professional growth and contributions made by the candidate. Evidence of professional growth and development includes awareness of current developments in the library profession and appropriate subject fields, continuing scholarly growth as exemplified by formal or informal study, and active participation in improving the profession and its image within the university and society at large. A candidate has sufficient professional contributions for purposes of tenure if ordinary School of Law committee assignments have been performed adequately. Failure to perform such duties can result in the denial of tenure.
2. All types of professional contributions, whether or not compensated and whether or not performed in a public or private capacity, are to be considered in assessing a candidate.
3. The weight to be accorded a particular professional contribution is a function of such factors as:
a. its value to the School of Law, the university, and society;
b. the importance and quality of the work; and
c. the extent to which the experience contributes to a candidate’s development as a librarian, as a scholarly researcher, or as a teacher.
4. Unless professional contributions result in a work product which can be independently evaluated as either teaching or research, professional contributions cannot usually compensate for inadequate teaching or research. On the other hand professional contributions always are relevant to a determination as to whether a candidate has made full and productive use of available time.
E. BALANCING OF STANDARDS
Although no quantitative values can be assigned to 1) instructional support or teaching effectiveness, 2) research and publication and 3) professional growth and contributions to the university, the community and the profession, the first two weigh more heavily than the third, and tenure may be granted when outstanding performance in one area outweighs less performance in another.
In an extraordinary case, a candidate who fails to satisfy the standards in one area, but has met the standards in the other two areas with exceptional distinction, may be granted tenure if, considered as a whole, the candidate demonstrates promise of being a valuable member of the faculty. This promise may be demonstrated by excellent performance of administrative duties, intellectual contribution to other faculty members, or significant public service.
In applying these standards to individuals, particular consideration must be given to the unique tasks assigned to individual faculty members and to the relative importance of the major responsibilities previously agreed to by the Law Library Director and the candidate (see I. D. supra).
VI. PROMOTION STANDARDS
A. PROMOTION TO ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
1. An instructor is to be considered for promotion to assistant professor upon the basis of:
a. effectiveness of performance of assigned responsibilities for instructional support activities or direct teaching activities, and
b. evidence of continuing professional growth through service and/or scholarly creative activity, or acquisition of advanced degrees or certificates.
2. In applying the standards for promotion it shall be recognized that promotion from instructor to assistant professor shall be recommended on the basis of an indication that the candidate is likely to meet at a later date the more stringent requirements for promotion and tenure in the transition from assistant to associate professor.
B. PROMOTION TO ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
1. An assistant professor is to be considered for promotion to associate professor upon the basis of instructional support activities or direct teaching activities, and professional growth and contributions which have been engaged in both prior and subsequent to appointment to the faculty. Assistant professors are to be promoted to the rank of associate professor pursuant to the standards set forth in Part V. supra pertaining to tenure.
2. In applying the standards for promotion, the relative shortness of time which has been available within which the assistant professor could demonstrate his or her qualifications may be taken into account, but no person shall be promoted who is not at the time considered likely to satisfy the standard in full when the time arrives for a decision on promotion to full professor.
C. PROMOTION TO FULL PROFESSOR
1. An associate professor is to be considered for promotion to full professor upon the basis of demonstrated and continued excellence in instructional support or direct teaching, research, and professional growth and contributions to the university, the community or the profession which have been engaged in both prior and subsequent to appointment to the faculty and which have not been taken into consideration previously in connection with promotion at the School of Law. Associate professors are to be promoted to the rank of full professor pursuant to the standards set forth Part V. supra pertaining to tenure. It is understood that an individual shall be promoted to full professor only upon a clear showing not only that he or she has the capacity to produce high quality work evidencing vigorous analysis, but that the candidate has produced a sufficient amount of such high quality work so as to earn peer recognition within and outside the university.
2. A person shall be promoted to full professor only upon a clear satisfaction of the standards.